TAMPA — Eight years after almost single-handedly resuscitating Willie Taggart’s coaching career, Quinton Flowers just might get a chance to do the same with Terrell Buckley’s.
The former USF quarterback, inducted into the Bulls’ athletics hall of fame last November, was signed Monday night by the XFL’s Orlando Guardians (0-3), who enter Saturday’s home game against Houston as one of the league’s two winless teams.
“You guys are going to like this signing,” Buckley said at his weekly news conference Monday afternoon, hours before the league confirmed the signing. “We’re very excited about this young man.”
Flowers, 28, exited USF with more than 40 school records and a 30-9 record as a starter. He most recently played in the Fan Controlled Football League (a 7-on-7 game staged in an arena in which fans call the plays) but hasn’t played conventional football since his brief stint with the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers in early 2020.
Seemingly suppressed by head coach Marc Trestman, he logged minimal duty (8-of-15 passing, 106 yards, one rushing touchdown) and even took a brief leave of absence before the global pandemic shut down the season and the league. At that point, Tampa Bay was 1-4.
Now, he joins a team that has used three quarterbacks — Paxton Lynch, Quinten Dormady and former FSU starter Deondre Francois — and has surrendered an XFL-high 13 sacks. The Guardians rank fifth in the eight-team league with 491 passing yards, and their 4.9 yards per attempt is second-worst in the league.
“We want the team to improve,” Buckley said before Flowers’ signing was announced. “Whoever gives us that best opportunity to have the end result that everybody wants, we are going to do that.”
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